Emollient rallies for the win in the Rodeo Drive Stakes.

Emollient rallies for the win in the Rodeo Drive Stakes.

Benoit Photo

Emollient Edges Parranda in Rodeo Drive

Juddmonte Farms' Emollient, the 3-1 favorite, gets a narrow win on Santa Anita turf.

In a thrilling stretch battle, Juddmonte Farms' Emollient edged Parranda by half a length to win the $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes (gr. IT) Sept. 27 at Santa Anita Park (VIDEO).

The 3-1 favorite covered the 1 1/4 mile on turf in 2:00.22. Rusty Slipper and Irish Mission dead-heated for third, 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner.

Jockey Rosie Napravnik was aboard Emollient for trainer Bill Mott. The 4-year-old filly is a homebred daughter of Empire Maker Soothing Touch, by Touch Gold. The Rodeo Drive marked her first win since last year's Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.

Wearing blinkers for the first time, Emollient emerged from back-to-back ninth-place finishes to earn a "Win and You're In" invitation to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).

Parranda broke sharply but it was Bunairgead and Victor Espinoza who grabbed the early lead and established the early pace of :24.39 and :48.91 while being chased by Parranda, Rusty Slipper, and Miss Serendipity. The field was well bunched down the backstretch and on the turn.

Moulin de Mougin and jockey Mike Smith, launching a bid from the back of the 12-horse field, made headway while wide on the turn, but the 4-year-old filly by Curlin  slipped on the turn, unseating Smith.

In the lane, after a mile in 1:37.41, Emollient rallied from mid-pack to get the lead, but Parranda fought back, and the two battled to the wire with Emollient, on the outside, getting the advantage in the final strides.

"I had so much horse I knew I could wait until something opened up," said Napravnik. "I was in a good position and could see where the holes were going to open up and she was really on her game today. When I rode her last time, she did the same thing and when I asked her, she was ready. I'm very thankful to Juddmonte and to Bill Mott to have me on her again."

Emollient paid $8.40, $5.60, and $3.60. Parranda paid $7 and $4.20. Rusty Slipper paid $6 to show and Irish Mission returned $2.60 to show.

"She loves this hard surface here," said David Lively, assistant to Mott. "I think that's what it is. She shipped in really well and was calm and she's had her game face on since she got off the van. She didn't break really sharp and she usually gets upset if she's in tight with horses but Rosie did a heck of a job getting her to settle. We're here for a couple more days then we'll be shipping back to New York. We'll ship back for Breeders' Cup. That's the plan right now."

Emollient is the first foal out of Soothing Touch, a daughter of stakes winner Glia (by A.P. Indy) and a full sister to grade III winner Snake Mountain and a half sister to French highweighted 2-year-old filly Denebola. Glia is also a half sister to Moonlight's Box, the dam of French champion 3-year-old Bago, winner of the 2004 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I). Emollient's fourth dam is blue hen Coup de Folie.

Emollient earned her sixth win fro 17 starts and has now earned $1,350,400. In her last two starts she was off the board in the Diana Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga Race Course and the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington International Racecourse. She was second, beaten a nose by Miss Serendipity in the May 25 Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) at Santa Anita. Miss Serendipity finished 11th Saturday as the co-second choice.

Moulin de Mougin was apparently uninjured in the mishap on the turf, according to her connections, and Smith returned in the next race to win the Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) aboard Shared Belief.

Scarlet Strike (20-1 on the morning line) and Charlie Em (30-1) were scratched.